The year of 2017 became a stage for certain causes to shine, including the second-most polluting industry in the world which is fashion. Maybe it’s the fact that people, in general, are demanding more information in every part of their lives including the stuff they’re spending money or on the looming threat of climate change.

Until recently, sustainability rarely came up in the fashion conversation, but in 2017 it has been a talk of the industry. Some designers try to reduce their carbon footprint, some have given their production cycles a rethink and some made the switch from real fur to faux.

Add to that the technological and a brand-new approach to shopping, the future of fashion is really, truly looking wonderful.

Here are some of the biggest sustainability highlights and game changers of 2017.


1.Alternative fabrics are now a new alternative in the fashion industry.

H&M teamed up with Bionic Yarn to produce dresses made from tiny pieces of plastic from waterways and shorelines.

Stella McCartney has been using faux leather and fur since she started her label and has recently improved both categories, but she’s interested in sustainability on all fronts. This year, she worked with Bolt Threads to produce a spider silk dress and she partnered with Parley for the Oceans to use recovered plastic waste from the ocean to make sneakers.

Some scientists start altering DNA to create “fur without the animal, silk without the worm, and leather without the cow.” Those materials will be expensive, but in a few years’ time, they could become a viable option for accessories designers

  1. Celebrities helping to elevate these developments and getting the word out

A more sustainable future depends on consumers and celebrities arguably wield the most influence in our culture. Their social media accounts can be a strong tool for promoting sustainable fashion brands and new developments.

Earlier this year, Emma Watson, who has become known for championing sustainable fashion and natural beauty, launched a new Instagram account, @the_press_tour, to document her eco-friendly red carpet looks on the Beauty and the Beast promotional circuit.

She tagged ethical brands like Filippa K and Stella McCartney and wrote in-depth captions to outline each garment’s ethical components but she also pointed out when she re-wore something in an effort to change the perception around wearing clothes more than once.

Michelle Obama joined the conversation while she was in the White House too. She wore vintage to several big events, re-wore her favorite clothes, and promoted small, ethically minded brands like Maki Oh.


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